News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

January 18, 2016


The province is investing $1.8 million to increase the number of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams in the short and medium term across the province, Health Minister Sharon Blady announced today.

“We are committed to ensuring that all Manitobans have access to high-quality health care and reject any calls for American-style, two-tier health care.  We are focused on ensuring health care is available to all patients based on their medical need, not the size of their wallet,” said Minister Blady.

The plan to increase MRI capacity to address volume increases in Winnipeg includes:
• increasing the number of pediatric scans by 2,300 exams per year at the new Diagnostic Imaging Building, which the minister noted is due to open in early 2016; and
• temporarily increasing the number of scans at Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg by adding a night shift that can perform more than 5,800 exams per year.

According to the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s last annual report, 58,740 MRI scans were performed in Winnipeg in 2014-15.  The minister said this commitment to an additional 8100 scans represents a 14 per cent increase in capacity.

“In each area of diagnostic imaging we are continually working to improve service,” said Dana Erickson, executive for diagnostic imaging, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.  “We appreciate this support to enhance our capacity for diagnostic tests to serve our patients.”

The minister noted additional investments are being made to install new MRI equipment at the Grace General Hospital in Winnipeg, as well as at hospitals in Dauphin and Selkirk.

“We know we must make these kinds of important investments to help meet the demand for tests,” said Minister Blady.  “These new sites will give us more capacity in the system to ensure tests are available for those who need them.”

MRIs provide detailed pictures of soft body tissue and organs, which can be taken from multiple perspectives and re-used mainly to detect neurological, cancer-related and muscle/bone diseases.

The technology has replaced more invasive procedures because of better image quality and faster results.

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